Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Lost Art of Giving: Arts in Crisis

For being so small, Delaware has an outsized abundance of riches when it comes to arts and cultural institutions.

As a native Delawarean, I have long enjoyed a wonderful smorgasbord of world-class museums, as well as libraries, orchestras, opera companies and other cultural delights. These include a pre-eminent collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings and the works of Brandywine School artists at the Delaware Art Museum.
A major reason for this treasure trove is that wealthy benefactors -- many of them heirs to the Du Pont Company chemical fortune -- have endowed these institutions for the past century. But this private money is drying up and some institutions are faced with extinction because there just isn't sufficient income from admissions, catalogue sales and gift-shop purchases to stay afloat.
The only difference between the arts crisis in Delaware and most other states is that it is coming later. Otherwise, the problems are pretty much the same.

More here.

Image: Isabella and the Pot of Basil (1867-68)
By William Holman Hunt/Delaware Art Museum

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